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Cornell University. ILR School. Employment and Disability Institute

Course 5a: Objectives and Framework for Person-Centered Planning Tools

"Person-centered planning begins when people decide to listen carefully and in ways that can strengthen the voice of people who have been or are at risk of being silenced" ~John O'Brien

Up until this point, the courses in this website have been centered on the fundamental values that frame any and all person-centered work. These values are, in many ways, more important than any person-centered tool because they can be integrated into our every day thoughts, deeds and actions in relationship with our self, with each other and with our earth. This requires no special gimmicks, tricks, markers, or big paper. It does require authenticity in the desire to listen to and be responsive to our fellow human beings.

The tools of person-centered planning are helpful when we are seeking to understand the interests and chosen life conditions of the person who is at the focus of the planning process in order to discover the inherent gifts and capacities s/he brings for fair exchange in the world. Remember that the underlying premise for any person-centered tool lies with the belief that all people are born with giftedness. Person-centered planning tools help to bring clarity to a person's giftedness, to the hopes and wishes of the person, and to explore the connection between these realities and genuine opportunities within the community where a person can make meaningful contributions and have those contributions appreciated, accepted and reciprocated.

Not everyone needs or benefits from a person-centered planning process. It is not a therapy or an intervention imposed upon by programs and services. No person-centered planning process should ever be initiated without a commitment from the key stakeholders, including service systems, to honor the process, take action and follow through on agreements.

The tools that are being introduced here represent the most popular current approaches to person-centered planning. There are other variations and processes being used as well. Each process has its own unique design or structure built upon the core foundation of the values that have been previously discussed. This course has been designed to orient you the tools by providing a brief description of the tool, describing its basic framework and providing links to resources and contacts that are specifically related to that tool. It is hoped that enough interest will be generated by the brief overview of each of the tools that you will be compelled to learn more about their application through deeper exploration and training. Please note: Completion of this course does not qualify the learner as a trained facilitator.